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UK consumer confidence at 4-year low in December

Consumer sentiment in the U.K. fell to its lowest level in four years in December as British households reported a gloomier assessment of their financial situation, a monthly GfK survey showed.

The consumer confidence index dipped one point to negative 13 in December from the prior month, marking nearly two years of a negative reading, GfK noted.

December's reading also marked the lowest level since 2013, Reuters reported Dec. 21.

The index tracking changes in personal finances during the past 12 months was down two points to negative 3, while the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months remained at positive 2.

The measure of the general economic situation in the U.K. during the past 12 months was up one point to negative 31, while economic expectations for the next 12 months stayed at negative 28.

The index tracking major purchases slipped one point to negative 4, while the savings index fell to positive 4.

Looking ahead, GfK said clarity on the pace at which interest rates will rise as well as Brexit-related issues need to be addressed first before the downward trend of consumer sentiment changes.

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, however, warned that "none of this will be resolved quickly so there's every likelihood that 2018 will take us lower."